Braces

Wahroonga's Dental Braces Experts

You might feel self-conscious about your smile if you have crooked, protruding or crowded teeth.

It’s common for confidence levels to take a hit when teeth are misaligned, however other problems may arise too:

  • Pain or discomfort when chewing food
  • Migraines or bad headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Speech challenges (lisping, unintentional whistling, pronunciation issues)
  • Teeth are harder to clean, increasing chances of developing decay

Thankfully orthodontic treatment is an effective way to straighten teeth, fix structural problems and create a smile you want to show off.

Early intervention is particularly important: the sooner we address the problem, the easier it is to solve.

What is orthodontics treatment?

Orthodontics is a dental speciality that corrects any oral structural irregularities for adults and children. There are different appliance options but all apply gentle pressure to shift the jaws and teeth into place over time (treatment options and the duration depends on the extent of misalignment).

Braces are the most common orthodontic tool, and this is the only suitable appliance for complex cases.

At Wahroonga Dental, we use ceramic and lingual braces.

What are braces?

Appliances that are made from metal or ceramic are semi-permanently bonded to the back or front of teeth. This system consists of metal or ceramic brackets, a metal archwire and O-rings (small rubber bands).

The O-rings secure the wire to the bracket, and patients can choose different colours for a fun look, or opt for clear elastics if they want to be discreet.

Braces usually need to be worn for 12 to 24 months, and can’t be removed during this period. They are worn constantly, even when eating or playing sports.

For complex cases, patients are usually referred to a local orthodontist for installation and follow-up appointments. Many dentists can effectively install braces, but correcting severe misalignment problems is the specialty of orthodontists.

Regular visits to your dentist or orthodontist during the treatment phase:

Expect to visit the clinic every 4 to 8 weeks so that braces can be tightened to apply a little more pressure each time. If you prefer coloured elastic bands for ceramic braces, you can also change the colour at each appointment (teens love this).

Lingual metal braces vs ceramic braces (Wahroonga Dental)

We offer both ceramic and lingual braces at Wahroonga Dental. The option you choose depends on various factors, such as:

  • Desired treatment duration
  • How visible you want the braces to be
  • How much you’re willing to spend

What are ceramic braces?

Ceramic braces are similar to conventional metal braces that are attached to the front of teeth. The difference is brackets are made out of ceramic, not metal. This is more discreet and comfortable than metal braces, especially if you choose clear rubber bands.

However, it’s not as discreet as lingual braces, which are almost invisible!

Find out more about ceramic braces.

What are lingual braces (metal)?

Lingual braces are attached to the back of teeth, so they’re completely invisible. It’s the most discreet option for people who don’t want to reveal they’re having orthodontic treatment. 

This option tends to be more expensive than metal braces – the installation process takes longer as more delicacy is required. Patients can also customise the size of their braces to better fit their mouth contours, but this comes with additional costs.

Please note: Lingual braces may create a temporary lisp for the first month, as your tongue touches the brackets (instead of the back of your teeth) and your mouth needs time to adjust to the new sensation.

Find out more about lingual braces.

Comfort levels for lingual metal braces vs ceramic braces:

Whether you’re getting conventional metal braces, ceramic braces or lingual braces, it’s common to feel tenderness for a few days after the initial installation and follow up appointments.

We recommend only eating soft foods during this time, such as yoghurt, soup, mashed potato, smoothies and scrambled eggs. Over-the-counter pain medication can help to take the edge off!

There may be times when you experience discomfort from the brackets rubbing against your flesh (the inner lip for ceramic braces, the tongue for lingual braces). Small amounts of dental wax can be applied to the brackets of both options, to reduce friction.

Discomfort levels may be higher for lingual braces, but these can be customised to be smaller and smoother, so there’s less pain.

The Cost of Braces

Average cost of ceramic braces (Australia): between $5,000 and $8,500

Average cost of lingual braces (Australia): between $9,500 and $16,000

Does private health insurance cover lingual or ceramic braces?

It depends, some of the cost may be covered by private health insurance that includes a comprehensive extras policy. However, this depends on the provider. Please check with your insurer to see how much you’re eligible for.

Maintenance for braces (lingual and ceramic):

The cleaning routine is the same for both types of braces. Floss daily and brush twice a day. You can use standard floss, but a tiny interdental brush is easier to fit through compact spaces. It’s vital to clean the front and back of your teeth properly, as decay tends to grow rapidly around the brackets if you neglect this task. 

If you need braces, Wahroonga Dental can help you out…

Our friendly team is based in Wahroonga, and we’re committed to providing the best dental care. We will discuss your orthodontic needs and assess your mouth to determine whether lingual or ceramic braces are suitable. 

Fill out this form or call us on (02) 9489 1107 to book an appointment.